On 9-10 March 2015, the Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean of IRDR co-sponsor ICSU (ICSU ROLAC), convened a workshop of National Member Focal Points at the University of Panama in Panama City.
The event was inaugurated by Tomás Diez – Research Director of the University of Panama, Arturo Martínez – Vice-Chair of the Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean, Manuel Limonta – Director of ICSU ROLAC and Manuel de León – Member of the Executive Board of ICSU.
Participants from Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Caribbean, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Panama, and Peru reviewed the activities of ROLAC in the last 5 years, shared experiences and successful case studies, debated how to promote actions to enhance the three pillars of ICSU in the region and measures to strengthen cohesion among the national members.
IRDR Executive Director R. Klein had originally been scheduled to present on specific projects aimed to increase synergies between regional activities in the domain of hazard and disaster risk research and the global IRDR programme, alongside an introduction into the functioning of National Committees (currently the only IRDR National Committee) in the region is the one based in Colombia). Instead, Germán Poveda from the Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Medellin, member of the Colombian Academy of Sciences, and member of the Regional Committee for Latin America and the Caribbean and Steering Committee of ICSU ROLAC for Disaster Risk Reduction, gave a presentation on priorities in the regional plans for research.
As outcome of the meeting, Focal Points agreed on a series of recommendations, which included closer interdisciplinary collaboration between the various priority areas, including the one on disaster risk reduction.